Our nation’s first responders are real-life superheroes—they’re our first line of defense in practically all emergency situations. But even superheroes face serious and potentially life-threatening challenges. One of the most significant threats posed to first responders is the risk of accidental vehicle crashes. According to the Law Enforcement Officers Killed & Assaulted (LEOKA) report published annually by the FBI, there were 393 fatal motor vehicle crashes involving law enforcement personnel between 2008 and 2018. In 2018 alone, 32% of law enforcement fatalities were a result of accidental vehicle crashes.
LED warning lights and sirens have become the standard in helping to prevent emergency vehicle crashes. As LED technology continues to improve, emergency vehicle lights have become brighter, more efficient, and incredibly versatile. But vulnerabilities and issues in today’s warning light setups still exist. Let’s examine one such issue down below: the lack of proper broadside lighting.
A Closer Look at Intersection Crashes
Based on data collected from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2018 approximately 43% of all vehicle crashes happened at an intersection. And of those 2,943,716 intersection-related accidents, 8,245 were fatal. Intersections can be dangerous for all drivers and pedestrians on the road. But for first responders, the risk of a fatal vehicle crash increases exponentially.
During an emergency dispatch, first responders must negotiate traffic, communicate with dispatchers, and navigate to emergency scenes quickly and safely. Crossing an intersection in the middle of an emergency is no easy task, especially when nearby drivers fail to move over, or worse, are unaware of the situation around them. To combat this issue, broadside lighting can be used to improve visibility at intersections and, potentially, save lives.
Choosing the Right Intersection Light
LED warning lights are installed on emergency vehicles in strategic places for maximum awareness and visibility. For example, LED light bars are used for 360-degrees of powerful, unobstructed lighting, while interior visor bars, LED dash lights, and surface mounts can be mounted on the front and rear of the vehicle for low-profile or undercover applications. But what about the sides of your car or truck? Intersection lights are often overlooked or ignored, despite their essential usefulness. Does your emergency vehicle require intersection lighting? Let’s explore a few options down below.
UBL Lateral Mirror Light
Designed to be installed under the side mirrors of your car or truck, our UBL Lateral Mirror Lights are the perfect option for broadside lighting applications. Featuring a universal mounting option, dual color configurations, a built-in dim function, and 12 3-watt LEDs, your police car, fire truck, or emergency response vehicle can’t be missed driving through intersections.
Feniex Under Mirror Puck
Feniex’s first tri-color light is also an excellent option for the sides of your vehicle. Like the UBL Lateral Mirror Light, the Feniex Under Mirror Puck is installed underneath your vehicle’s mirrors. The Puck Light is designed with 18 4-watt LEDs and offers countless color combinations, vehicle-specific mounting, a pattern-changing switch, and adjustable optics.
Rocker Panel Lights
Rocker panel lights illuminate the entire length of your vehicle for maximum broadside visibility. Slim, streamlined, but incredibly powerful, rocker panel lights—like the UBL Rocker Panel Light or the Feniex Fusion Rocker Panel Stick Light—are also perfect for undercover police applications and other emergency response vehicles.
Ready for your intersection lights?
Emergency vehicle crashes are preventable. By addressing critical vulnerabilities in your vehicle’s warning light system, you can dramatically improve the visibility of your police car or truck during emergency dispatches. For help selecting the right intersection lights for your vehicle, contact one of our sales support specialists today! They would be happy to discuss your lighting needs and suggest the best LED emergency lights for your application.
Fatality and Injury Reporting System Tool (FIRST), National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA), cdan.dot.gov/query. (PDF report downloaded 3 April 2020).
Law Enforcement Officers Killed & Assaulted (LEOKA), FBI, 15 July 2010, ucr.fbi.gov/leoka. (PDF report
downloaded 3 April 2020).